PGHFW Exposed Pittsburgh’s Fashion Intelligence and Gave New Influence to My Style Aesthetic
The influence behind my style aesthetic ripens daily. Walks in Frick Park invite me to accept simplicity and seek sustainable materials and production practices. PPG Place shows the way of volume and structure, pushing me to manipulate my shadow. Staghorn Cafe pollenates chatter; a turquoise ring from my late aunt can spark as much conversation as a honey latte. I have found my sartorial rhythm in Pittsburgh. Over the last seven days, Pittsburgh Fashion Week highlighted local talent and exposed the strong advocacy within Pittsburgh’s fashion scene. It not only provided new avenues of inspiration for my style aesthetic, but it ignited an eruption of collective pride.
I have bias when it comes to Pittsburgh Fashion Week. Elysia Newman, founder of Style412 and Creative Director of Pittsburgh Fashion Week, is a good friend of mine. Since our introduction, she has fought and pushed this city to continually elevate its fashion presence. I marveled at the time and effort Elysia and the team surrounding this week (not to mention 200+ volunteers) poured into these events. It became a style nation within itself.
I was included in this army. Anyone in attendance or following along were included. There were drinks shared under Sienna Mercato’s water stained ceiling at The Social. Innovation, rather than trends, was discussed as a key player in fashion’s upcoming chapters at The Panel. Seven local designers were illuminated in a glass garden; a sold-out crowd breathing in their designs during The Runway.
I attended the The Social as well as The Runway. Pregnancy knocked me out of The Panel (I pried friends who did attend for their insight and heard the knowledge presented was worthy of endless coffee discussions). Event after event, I was hit with different style perspectives. This is my favorite aspect to fashion - its subjectivity. I love observing an assemble I would not pick for myself. It is a different vantage point. It is a glimpse into someone’s story; a story I have yet to read. There is a magnetism in viewing one’s idiosyncrasies in an extra-long layered sleeve or chic, slicked hair or jewels fastened to pearly whites. This diversity of aesthetic exists in Pittsburgh. It shows its face every day.
Pittsburgh Fashion Week provided hubs to unify this diversity. I left each event with a sense of community, a sense of stamina for what’s next. I found myself not knowing a lot of people. This excited me. I didn’t interact with everyone, but I did observe. The feeling of a fresh collective was palpable. Our fashion nation, with all its varied perspectives, standing hand-in-hand demanding avowal from Pittsburgh and beyond.
There are not many fashion photos in this post. The hashtags, #pghfw and #pghfw18, sum up the looks served nicely. After a healthy scroll, look up from your computer. Scan while walking Penn Avenue or Butler Street or the uneven concrete in your neighbor. Glance around while visiting your favorite coffee shop. Our city is full of sartorial intelligence. Pittsburgh Fashion Week highlighted this intelligence, and I was thrilled to experience it.
And, Elysia Newman, I am proud of you.
Header Image via @elysiapandapgh